Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Things are busy but good at the homefront this week. We've been doing all the last minute things before our move tomorrow. I hope I have all the utilities switched over and haven't forgotten anything. My friends weren't surprised when I told them that I've been packed for a week already and now just waiting patiently for the move. They tell me that I'm overly organized and it annoys them. It's just who I am. I will have a few essentials that I will pack today and tomorrow that we needed over the past week, but other than that - we're good to go. As you can probably tell, I'm excited. We took 3 trailer loads over to the house last night and are in hopes that we can do a little more tonight so that our jobs on Thursday will be minimal. I wanted to have a couple days to get organized because I will be speaking at a women's tea on Sunday. I didn't want to be stressed and unfocused so God could use the best of me. Enough about me. I pray that your day will be blessed and your focus will be on our sweet Lord and Savior

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

How do you define success? I have made the mistake in the past to take what God has asked me to do and add to it. You would think that doing more than what God asks, would be a good thing but it is disobedience. Putting my own spin on things to make them what I want them to be is the same as not doing what God asked me to at all. I have to learned to understand what God wants me to do and then do just that. If He wants more, He'll let me know. We must break away from defining our success by what the world considers success and be faithful obeyers of our Lord.
God measures our success with the yardsticks of obedience, faithfulness, and righteousness.

Have a great day obeying our Lord and Savior

Monday, April 28, 2008

Isaiah 48:17-18 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea"

This verse brings me much encouragement and I hope it does for you as well. God wants us to profit, He wants to shower His blessings upon us. It is when we decide not to obey His teachings that we open ourselves up to discipline and missed blessings. If we make the choice to follow and obey, God says our well-being and righteousness will be increased.

I have one more encouragement for today - I had found myself over the past few days, feeling like the blessings God has bestowed upon me were too good to be true. It was more than I could believe that God has given me a wonderful loving family, true friends, a new house and a new job for my husband. I began allowing satan to tell me that something had to be taken away. It was all too much for a sinner like me. I began to worry about what God would take away from me and when it would happen. As I drove to church yesterday, God reminded me of a verse I shared with you awhile back. A verse that I said would be my new life verse but had so easily forgotten. Mark 5:36 ...."do not be afraid any longer, only believe"

Today, I say to you as I continue to remind myself - do not be afraid any longer, only believe

Have a great day as we believe in the mighty works of our Father

Friday, April 25, 2008

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Are you rejoicing today because you are awake and alive? If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you always have reason to rejoice. You are a child of the Most High. You are SAVED! You are FREE! You need not fear death, because death on this earth is just a doorway into HEAVEN! For this day, forget all the worries of this world and REJOICE because our GOD IS GOOD! He LOVES you and me!

Have a great day rejoicing in our God

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I've been reading parts of Isaiah this week. It was written to call the people of Judah back to God. I have found alot of encouragement as I read. I, like the people of Judah have fallen away at times in my life, but how sweet it is to know that my God is always calling me back. I'm so thankful that He never gives up on me.
Here's some encouragement for you:
49:10 "They will not hunger or thirst, nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down; for He who has compassion on them will lead them and will guide them to springs of water.

49:13 ...For the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion on His afflicted.

50:10 Who is among you that fears the Lord, that obeys the voice of His servant, that walks in darkness and has no light? LET HIM TRUST IN THE NAME OF THE LORD AND RELY ON HIS GOD.

51:1 ...Look to the rock from which you were hewn and to the quarry from which you were dug.

51:6 ...But My salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will not wane.

51:16 "I have put My words in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of My hand...

Have a blessed day

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

In one of our small groups, we are studying about temptation. As we search this subject, I find myself getting down remembering so many times that I made bad choices when faced with temptation. It is so easy for me to begin my own little pity party as I look over my past but I try to soon realize that it's all history and I have to focus on making the right choices today. I have to make the choice to focus on the future and remember that my sins are forgiven and God doesn't even see them any more. The same goes for you - start the discipline in your mind to get rid of your regrets as soon as they enter. We are to learn from our mistakes but not be hindered from them. God wants to use temptations to build our character and each time we make the right choice, we become more like Him.

Have a great day focusing on your future with God

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Good morning bloggy friends! I have been thinking alot lately about all the things I am thankful for. It is so easy to focus on all the bad going on around us, but it is a choice to focus on good. There are days that I wake up grumpy for no reason at all and some that I have good reason to be grumpy, but God doesn't want me to stay that way. My husband always says "your attitude is contagious, is yours worth catching?" Take the time to ask God if your attitude is what He wants it to be today and if the answer is no, take the time to make the choice to change it.

Have a great day thinking about all your wonderful blessings

Monday, April 21, 2008

Please watch this short video that was played during our church service yesterday. It was a great eye-opener for me.
Have you forgot how to dream? A friend commented to me how until she came across a new career opportunity, she had forgotten how to dream. I could totally relate - throughout my many years of being a mother and wife, I had forgott how to dream. As women, many times our focus is on everyone else and we feel guilty to ever make anything about ourselves. In no way am I encouraging you to put dreams over your family but I spent too many years pushing my dreams so far down that I had forgotten I had any. It wasn't until a friend brought out what they saw in me that I gained the confidence to look at those dreams again. Now, allowing God to show me how those dreams relate to His will for me is an undescribable feeling. What dreams may God want you to fulfill?

Have a great day dreaming about your part in God's plan

Friday, April 18, 2008

As many of you know, my husband and I have been patiently and prayerfully searching for somewhere to live after we close on our house next month. Yes, I know that it is probably hard for you to believe, but we have actually been patient. Patience is quite a struggle for us, but God was faithful once again and our patience has paid off. Since we haven't been able to find a house to purchase in our price range and accomadating to my daycare, we were going to rent a house in the country until we were able to purchase something. The day before we were planning on signing the lease, we received a call from a friend who told us about a possible home for us. We called, looked at the house, and knew it was the one for us. It is exactly what we've always dreamed of - 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, country setting and already set up for my daycare. Once again, I repeat, God is faithful. It is His will that we are patient and when we obey, we are blessed. I am overwhelmed with God's goodness.

Have a great day as we praise our Lord and Savior

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ecclesiastes 3:11-14 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one's lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor - it is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.

Commentary: What is the purpose of life? It is that we should fear the allpowerful God. To fear means to respect and stand in awe of Him because of who He is. Purpose in life starts with whom we know, not what we know or how good we are. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FULFILL YOUR GOD-GIVEN PURPOSE UNLESS YOU FEAR GOD AND GIVE HIM FIRST PLACE IN YOUR LIFE.

Just something I want you to chew on today

Have a great day chewing!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Good morning all my bloggy friends! It is a beautiful sunny spring day here in Illinois and I can't wait to get outside. I talked yesterday about how we view trials and then last night in our small group, we again discussed how God builds character through our struggles. The Bible tells us to expect trouble in our lives, not try to run from or avoid them. If Jesus faced trials and temptations, then why would we be different? I have a piece of paper taped to my desk that reads : "GOD'S GOAL FOR YOUR LIFE IS NOT COMFORT, BUT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT". This is true and I need it as a reminder each day - especially those days when I'm lost in my own little pity party. We should be comforted by our relationship with our Savior but never comfortable. Being comfortable in all you do usually means that you are not doing what God is asking of you.

Have a great day as we worship our Lord in all we do

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I almost forgot - today is the day that I pick a winner to recieve 2 books for helping me with my fear topic. Congrats to "Headless Mom"!! Send me your mailing info and I'll get "I'm Glad I'm a Mom" and "What Happens When Women Say Yes to God" out to you.
As I read Jeremiah 24 this morning, I was reminded of God's provisions for His children. I have personally seen His provision over and over in my life, but I want to assure you that we are not blessed when life goes good and cursed when it doesn't. But trouble is a blessing when it makes us stronger and closer to God, and prosperity is a curses if it makes us fall away from God. I know that I have learned the most in my spiritual walk while dealing with very difficult situations. I have had experiences when I only had God and no one else and these were the times that I learned that my God is enough. When you truly realize that God is all you need, the troubles of the world seem to fade in comparison to His greatness.

Next time troubles come your way, have an open heart and pray that God will teach you what He wants you to know and when life is filled with blessings, pray that God will use your prosperity to glorify Himself.

Have a great day knowing that our God is more than enough

Monday, April 14, 2008

Good Monday morning to you! It was another busy but very good weekend. They always seem to go by so fast.
As I was reading the Song of Solomon today, I was reminded of how important it is to remember the times of marriage when all the joys of "the tingles" were present. "The tingles" are the exciting and exhiliarating feelings you have when love is new and the anticipation of seeing your loved one is so great. I have found that after many years of marriage, those tingles seem to fade away but as they do, a deep love must grow in their place. True love doesn't end when the "tingles" are gone, but when a choice is made to love through thick and thin. Love is a choice not a feeling. Choices are difficult at times but when we choose to love the way that God intends, it will ultimately be a blessing to both the chooser and to God.

Remind yourself today of the "tingles" you once shared with your spouse and know that you were put together for a purpose by God.

Have a great day as we soak up our God

Friday, April 11, 2008

Life can get so busy sometimes that we forget to slow down and enjoy people around us. I had the opportunity to get together with some girlfriends last night and have dinner. It was so nice to catch up and enjoy each others company. I think I had forgotten how good it feels to take the time to really connect with people. We were at a restaurant and when the waitress approached, she asked my name. As I looked up at her, I saw a familiar sweet face. Her name is also Christie and she lived across the street from me while we grew up together, spending many many hours playing together. After college she moved to Vegas and I haven't seen her since. What a very cool reunion we had. Not only was she working there, but her mom and brother were there too! God never ceases to amaze me. I was so encouraged by the many stories of God's faithfulness that my friends and I were able to share last night. I want to encourage you to take some time soon to reconnect with people you love but don't take the time to visit. It will be a blessing.

Please also be praying for my husband. He starts his new job on Monday and the butterflies are starting. I know that he will do a great job but sometimes the unknown can make us fear.

Have a great day as we are God's lights in this world

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Good morning all! I shared a verse with you from Mark 5:36 (..."Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.") which I think has become my new life verse. I have really been working hard at overcoming fear over the last couple years. It is my goal to one day live my life unafraid. God has also asked me to put my fearful journey and the way out into a book so that my story can inspire others. I have found it difficult at times to find the time to write but I will have an opportunity to meet with publishers at the She Speaks Conference in June so I would like your prayers for me to be able to get it done. My husband's sweet grandma gave me some good advice: "only you can write your story, but you can have help with everything else that needs to be done - so write!" I am so thankful for the godly counsel of people older than me.

I will make a choice today, to not be afraid, but to only believe in the One who is always faithful. I encourage you to do the same.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ready for the next subject? It's Hades. In Luke 16:19-31 you can read about Lazarus and the rich man. Lazarus sat at the gate of the rich man begging for crumbs from his table, with no response. When Lazarus died, he went to Hades and was comforted in the bosom of Abraham. When the rich man died, he also went to Hades but was in torment. He asks Abraham to have Lazarus to dip his finger in water and touch the tip of his tongue but Abraham responds that there is a great chasm fixed between the two and cannot be done. Due to this story, my original opinion was that when we die, we all wait in Hades for judgement day to be released into heaven or hell. As we studied this subject, my eyes were opened to something that makes much more sense.

Jesus tell the story of Lazarus and the rich man before His death, burial and resurrection. Before Jesus, people had to make sacrifices to God to cover their sins. (Hebrews 9 & 10)It was a never ending process. Their sins were covered but not removed until Jesus took them for us all. After Jesus' resurrection, there is no longer a need for Hades for Christians. Just like the thief on the cross, we will immediately go to heaven when we die as Christians. Jesus released the part of Hades that contained His followers when He overcame death. (Ephesians 4:7-10 & Peter 3:18-19). The tormenting side of Hades will be thrown into the lake of fire on judgment day (Revelation 20:14)

Some very interesting stuff! I usually don't get wrapped up in theology, but I thought these topics could be helpful in your understanding of our Savior.

One more thing - a verse that blessed me greatly today. "Do not be afraid any longer, only believe" Mark 5:36

Have a blessed day

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Good morning all my bloggy friends! It's a little rainy and dreary here this morning, but the last few days have been absolutely beautiful. I think spring is finally here - it seems like it's been a long time coming. In our Monday night small group, we have been discussing some largely debateable subjects of the Bible. I would like to share with you some opinions and see if it could give you something to chew on like it has me:

Today, we'll discuss Jesus' death on the cross. Due to Ephesians 4:7-10 and Peter 3:18-19, I believe that when Jesus took the sins of the world upon Himself, He went to hell to for us before He was in Paradise with His Father. I assumed He died, went to Hell and then when He was finished there, He went to Paradise but I was always confused by why He told the criminal next to Him that He would see Him in Paradise today (Luke 23:42-43). How could He go to heaven and hell at the same time?
Here's the opinion that made alot of sense to me: When Jesus was on the cross - at noon darkness fell over the land for 3 hours. During this time the veil was torn in the temple.(Luke 23:44-45) The darkness represents the evil that Jesus was taking upon Himself and the seperation He was enduring from God. This was the time that He was in hell suffering for our sins. When in John 19:30, Jesus says "it is finished" - it was finished, everything was finished and He went immediately to Paradise. Why would Jesus say it is finished if it wasn't?

By our discussions, I know that there are many differing opinions on this subject and we will only truly understand when we get to Paradise, ourselves - but I wanted to give you something to chew on today.
There's more to come -

Have a great day as we are servants to all

Monday, April 7, 2008

Well, it's official - we started packing this past weekend. I guess I had been putting it off feeling a little overwhelmed by the task but since it was a beautiful day yesterday, we took the opportunity to pack up the attic above the garage. At least I feel like I accomplished something.

My great uncle and cousin came up from Kentucky over the weekend too! I hadn't seen my uncle since I was a little girl and so it was a sweet reunion. It gave us the opportunity to also spend time with our extended family which was so wonderful.

We still haven't decided where we're moving yet, but are hopeful to find out more this week between 2 options we are looking into. We are confident that God will provide but the hard part is being patient.

I read this morning in 1 Corinthians13 about love. It is always a good reminder to me that it doesn't matter about anything else we may have because without love, we have nothing. It is so easy to fall into the trap of seeing all the things happening around us and to us but miss out on all the ways we can love others.

Have a great day as we focus on loving those around us

Friday, April 4, 2008

Good morning all! The last two days have been quite interesting in my neck of the woods. I had a colonoscopy yesterday and the two day prep beforehand was not a fun one. But I'm glad it's all over with and the results were good. The strange thing was that the doctor said he saw something that looked like shiny pearls in my colon. Explain that one! I guess I'm weird inside and out! I'm headed for my yearly with the gynecologist today so I'll be glad to not see any more doctors for a very long time! I guess my hundred point inspection will end.

On a less gross note, I am excited to share that I think we may have found somewhere to live when we close on the sale of our house next month. We are looking into renting a house in the country until we find the house we want to buy. We will meet with the owners tomorrow and hopefully get everything worked out. It will be nice to know that we won't have to live in a cardboard box. :) God is so faithful in taking care of everything we need.

Have a great day as we are servants to all

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Good morning all my bloggy friends! Thanks again for all the great input on fears - keep it coming. I would like to hear from at least 100 people.

I had shared with you a few weeks ago that there was going to be an article coming out in a local newspaper about Awaken the Heart Ministries. It came out last Saturday and I was so surprised to see an article that consumed a page and a quarter. I've had several people comment on how informative it was and have already received a call for another speaking engagement from it. I just wanted to share with you another way that God is faithful and opens doors in our lives when we are willing to say yes and follow His will for us.

Have you made the commitment to say yes to God today? I want to encourage you to wake up each morning and say yes to God before He even asks you - this will prepare your heart for each opportunity.

Have a great day as we say yes to our Lord

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Good morning all! Thank you so much to everyone that has responded to my request for your top 10 fears! I would love to hear from everyone possible, so let your friends know about it too!

My husband and I have felt God preparing us for something for awhile now. We have been unclear as to what, but just have the notion in our hearts. Only God can be the reason for what happened with my husband's job last week. He had been praying that God would give him a job that would be closer to home. Out of the blue, he received a phone call asking him to come in for an interview for a job only 10 miles away from our home. He went and when the interview went great, he was then sent for a second interview with the district manager of the company. During his second interview, the district manager explained that Mike was overqualified for the position and wanted him to manage the entire store. He has been asked many times in his current position to move into management, but was unwilling to work the crazy hours that would require. At the new company, he will be the manager and still work hours that allow him to be available to his family. There is no other explanation for this sweet blessing but God. He is so faithful and we are so excited to be in His will.

Have a great day as we stand on the promises of God

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I would love to receive some input from you! I'm writing a book proposal on overcoming fear and I need to know what you are afraid of. Please let me know 10 things that make you fear and I will randomly select a person to win a book on April 15.

Thank you
Good morning all! In 2 Timothy 4:7, Paul states "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith." If today was your last day on this earth, could you say the same? Are you still fighting the "good fight" or has your desire and passion dwindled? It is easy to fall away from our first Love because of fear or circumstances but it is well worth the energy to get back on track and finish the course that God has planned for each of us. I pray that you will be intentional today about keeping your faith.

If we have an unfounded fear of the world that causes us to retreat from the world, we will fail to bring light into the world.

Have a great day as we stand on the promises of God